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    Best Online Master’s Programs in 2020 (Online & On-Campus)

    March 13, 2021 | Staff Writers

    Online Masters Programs
    Degree Finder
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    Why get an online master’s degree?

    As anyone knows to advance one’s career opportunities often begins with advancing their education. Completing an online master’s program has many personal and professional benefits rather than attending a traditional on-campus program. Flexibility is one of the key benefits of an online master’s program.

    Students can continue in their career while attending courses that fit their schedule. This allows them to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations. Cost is another key advantage of attending online. Many schools have set tuition for all online students rather than resident and non-resident status. Students can attend some of the country’s best programs without having to relocate to attend. Most online programs provide students with services they would have if they attended an on-campus program such as tutoring, career counseling, and academic advising.

    Accreditation for online colleges

    Every student should check the schools and specific program accreditation before applying. A regionally accredited school will have the highest level of academic achievement. Why is it so important that a school is accredited? Students attending accredited schools qualify for financial aid for starters. Schools generally only accept credits or transfer degrees from accredited schools. Last, most professional certifications require them to be obtained from accredited institutions. Institutions for higher learning must undergo a rigorous review from an independent accrediting agency that evaluates learning outcomes, faculty qualifications, and degree requirements to become accredited. Once accredited, institutions undergo periodic reviews to ensure they maintain the high standards required for accreditation. Another factor to consider is whether programs within a university have their accreditation status, such as schools of business, schools of nursing, etc., they can have their accreditation status. If you are considering a program such s these it would be wise to choose one that is accredited. To determine a school or program status for accreditation check here.

    Common Online Master’s Degrees

    Below are a few of the most common online master’s degrees that students have enrolled in and successfully graduated from.

    Business Administration:

    MBA programs prepare students to assume leadership roles within a business. Most MBA programs offer areas of concentration that make their degree more specific and specialized such as finance, Human resource management, marketing, and supply chain management.

    Nursing:

    A master’s in nursing prepared nursing professionals to more advanced practice roles like a nurse practitioner or nurse anesthetist. Students will take courses in nurse leadership, nurse education, and research. Online students will also strengthen their practice skills through the required clinical practicum.

    Information Technology:

    Students of an online Information Technology program are trained in software development, computer science, and business analytics. Different programs offer other areas of concentration such as robotics, artificial intelligence, and network architecture. Graduates can often assume high-level IT roles.

    Accounting:

    A master’s degree in accounting prepares professionals to assume the level of a certified CPA. Holding those credentials allows them to move into managerial roles. Students can usually choose between courses in public accounting or forensic accounting.

    Education:

    A master’s in education allows educators to advance in their careers into administrative roles or higher education roles. During the program, students can choose a path to strengthen their instructional capabilities or their administrative skills. Which one they choose determines their opportunities upon graduating.

    RankSchoolLocation
    1Sam Houston State UniversityHuntsville, Texas
    2Arizona State UniversityTempe, Arizona
    3North Carolina State UniversityRaleigh, North Carolina
    4University of WisconsinMadison, Wisconsin
    5University of MassachusettsShrewsbury, Massachusetts

    Online Master’s Requirements:

    Application requirements will vary by school and program, but nearly all require a bachelor’s degree and standardized test scores. Usually, programs require applicants to hold a bachelor’s degree in a similar or related field to the one they are applying for a master’s degree in, but there are exceptions. Some programs will enroll applicants with a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field.

    Most programs do have a minimum GPA for admission, so check with individual programs to know before applying.

    Nearly every program will require letters of recommendation, a resume, and perhaps even an essay. Some programs will require a minimum level of experience in the field or other certifications before applying for a master’s program. Know what is required for programs you are applying for before start submitting applications.

    1

    Sam Houston State University

    • Huntsville, Texas
    • Graduation Rate: 67%
    Sam Houston State Universtiy

    Why choose Sam Houston University for online degrees? They offer small class sizes taught by fully credentialed professors, Sam Houston has top-ranked award-winning programs, and they offer a $1,000 scholarship for all new 100% online students. The faculty is talented and innovative and they provide around the clock support for their online classes and students. Some of the programs offered are a MA in Communication Studies, an MS in Victim Services Management, a MA in Higher Education Administration, an MS in Criminal Justice Leadership, and more.

    At A Glance

    Tuition: $5,391
    Master’s Programs: 28
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Accredited: Yes
    Visit School Website
    2

    Arizona State University

    • Tempe, Arizona
    • Graduation Rate: 67%

    Consistently ranking among the top ten in the country for their robust online degrees program, Arizona State University has been a leader in distance education long enough to develop proven and innovative teaching methods. Currently, ASU has over 80 highly ranked online master’s degrees doctorate programs and certificates each one offered in a fully online format. Specific areas of study include an MS in Biomimicry, an MS in Information Management, an MS in Regulatory Science, a MA in Social Justice and Human Rights, and many more.

    At A Glance

    Tuition: $11,240
    Master’s Programs: 55
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Accredited: Yes
    Visit School Website
    3

    North Carolina State University

    • Raleigh, North Carolina
    • Graduation Rate: 77%
    North Carolina State University

    North Carolina State University offers a world-class education taught by renowned professors and researchers. The online and distance education programs offer the same rigorous and internationally recognized education while providing flexibility to fit advanced education into the busy lives of students. Some of the top-ranked offerings include degrees in computer information technology, engineering, business administration, and more. Although most of the degrees are offered completely online, there are a few that do require some on-campus visits or proctored exams.

    At A Glance

    Tuition: Our tuition varies by program.
    Master’s Programs: 56
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Accredited: Yes
    Visit School Website
    4

    University of Wisconsin

    • Madison, Wisconsin
    • Graduation Rate: 85%

    The University of Wisconsin offers a wide variety of advanced degrees through its online graduate programs from many different fields. Each degree is held to the same high-standard requirements that have earned the University of Wisconsin the reputation of being a leader in higher education.

    Graduates with these credentials will be instantly recognized among employers across the nation. Some programs include a Master of Science in Administrative Leadership, an ME in Engineering, an MS in Training and Human Resource Development, and more.

    At A Glance

    Tuition: $10,730
    Master’s Programs: 60
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Accredited: Yes
    Visit School Website
    5

    University of Massachusetts

    • Shrewsbury, Massachusetts
    • Graduation Rate: 97%

    The University of Massachusetts offers one of the most robust and diverse lists of online master’s programs in the country.

    Offering 50 online master programs to assist students desiring to increase their career opportunities. The institution offers over 1500 online courses, some help students earn certifications while others are for specific online degrees.

    With expert faculty and a wide assortment of programs, every student is guaranteed to find what they are looking for in advanced online education. Some of the online master’s programs include a Master of Science in Analytics, Business Administration, Mast of Science in Nursing, Master’s in Applied Linguistics and so many more!

    At A Glance

    Tuition: $13,210
    Master’s Programs: 50
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Accredited: Yes
    Visit School Website

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    6

    University of Missouri

    • Columbia, Missouri
    • Graduation Rate: 68%

    If you are looking for a variety of programs or even online certifications, The University of Missouri or Mizzou Online has one that works for you. Mizzou offers over 1000 online courses and 153 online degree and certificate options. Some of the most popular online degree options are an MA in Architectural Studies, MS in Biomedical Studies, MA in Youth Development, and MS in Personal Financial Planning. As students search for the online programs here, it is important to note that a select number is a hybrid model that will require some on-campus time to complete the program.

    At A Glance

    Tuition: $8,640
    Master’s Programs: 45
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Accredited: Yes
    Visit School Website
    7

    University of Alabama

    • Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    • Graduation Rate: 68%

    Looking for a Military friendly and affordable path to an advanced degree? The University of Alabama is a perfect match with over 30 online masters programs and certification courses available that online allowing students to advance their careers and increase their income without sacrificing their current career. Not only is the University of Alabama ranked among the best colleges for their online programs but they also offer unique online master’s programs such as a Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics, a MA in journalism and other more traditional offerings such as Business Administration, and Masters in Education. With such a large offering see if they offer your desired program here.

    At A Glance

    Tuition: $10,780
    Master’s Programs: 37
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Accredited: Yes
    Visit School Website
    8

    University of Central Florida

    • Orlando, Florida
    • Graduation Rate: 75%

    University of Central Florida’s online master’s degrees offer unlimited possibilities and career opportunities. UCF has programs that are for everyone, including working professionals, parents, career changers, or those simply seeking to increase their education.

    With students attending globally, UCF continues to provide an award-winning faculty with the same high standards that on-campus learners receive. Now offering 34 online master’s degrees in a variety of fields, find the degree that suits your educational pursuits here. The faculty are tenure-track members of the UCF community who are experts in their field.

    At A Glance

    Tuition: $6,916
    Master’s Programs: 34
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Accredited: Yes
    Visit School Website
    9

    University of Memphis

    • Memphis, Tennessee
    • Graduation Rate: 41%

    With some of the top master’s programs in subject areas such as art, business, health humanities, and more.

    The unique Master of Music Education Program allows participants to continue their career in teaching while pursuing graduate studies. All programs are offered entirely online with no requirements to attend campus. The University of Memphis also offers many post-graduate certifications online as well as some doctorate programs online.

    To see a full list of all advanced degrees and certifications available online click here.

    At A Glance

    Tuition: $9,054
    Master’s Programs: 29
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Accredited: Yes
    Visit School Website
    10

    Auburn University

    • Auburn, Alabama
    • Graduation Rate: 75%

    Auburn University offers several online master’s degrees in a variety of disciplines. These programs have repeatedly earned high ranks as top programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. Note that currently, certain programs offered by Auburn University can only accept students from select states at this time to see if your state is on that list check here. Some of the master’s degree programs offered include a Master of Accountancy, a Master of Turfgrass Management, Executive Master of Real Estate, MS in Nutrition, and many more.

    At A Glance

    Tuition: $9,342
    Master’s Programs: 28
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Accredited: Yes
    Visit School Website
    11

    Lamar University

    • Beaumont, Texas
    • Graduation Rate: 32%

    Lamar University offers a very approachable method with flexible online master’s programs. With multiple start dates and an option to pay tuition by, course rather than all at once is part of the design to allow students to continue their career while pursuing an advanced degree. With 26 specific master’s degrees in areas of Business, Political Science/Criminal Justice, Nursing, Education, and Health Science. There are accelerated options that enable students to complete the program in as little as 14-16 months, depending on their chosen program.

    At A Glance

    Tuition: $6,174
    Master’s Programs: 26
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Accredited: Yes
    Visit School Website
    12

    Fort Hays State University

    • Hays, Kansas
    • Graduation Rate: 71%

    If you are seeking to move your career and income to the next level an advanced degree is the way to go, and with Fort hays State University’s online master’s programs that are fully accredited it is easier and more affordable than ever before. With over 20 fully online degrees with many having specific concentrations within them, Fort Hays is a path to advance your career.

    Master’s Programs include degrees in the following areas; Education, Business Administration, Counseling, Nursing, Social Work, Computer Networking, and many more. Every student will find a program in their chosen field of study.

    At A Glance

    Tuition: $3,497
    Master’s Programs: 20+
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Accredited: Yes
    Visit School Website
    13

    Penn State University – World Campus

    • University Park, Pennsylvania
    • Graduation Rate: 38%

    Penn State University is a nationally accredited institution that offers a unique online World Campus where students enroll globally for the high-quality education Penn State in renowned for. Students will work and study with other career-focused students from diverse backgrounds around the world. Programs currently offered online include Accounting, Business Administration, Master of Education, Data Analytics, Finance, Homeland Security, Nursing, Software Engineering, and many more. The online courses and programs mimic the on-campus programs and teachings with the same expert faculty.

    At A Glance

    Tuition: $20,470
    Master’s Programs: 52
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Accredited: Yes
    Visit School Website
    14

    Creighton University

    • Omaha, Nebraska
    • Graduation Rate: 79%

    One of the top schools for online master’s degrees, Creighton University offers many fully online programs as well as hybrid programs. Ranking among the best in their business, healthcare, and leadership master’s programs, Creighton provides excellent opportunities for students. A sample of their master’s programs includes an MS in Analytics, an MS in Educational Leadership, a Master of Finance, an MS in Nursing, and more.

    Their hybrid programs blend online course work with some on-campus or in clinic requirements. Aside from these programs they also offer several online certifications.

    At A Glance

    Tuition: $15,300
    Master’s Programs: 16
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Accredited: Yes
    Visit School Website
    15

    National University

    • La Jolla, California
    • Graduation Rate: 13%

    National University is now recognized as one of the top universities for online education with accredited programs and degrees. National University was founded with the vision of making education more accessible and affordable for everyone across the country with distance learning programs and now a plethora of online programs. National University is also known for its support of U.S. Military students. Currently, there are over 30 online master degree programs including an MEd in secondary education, an MA in English, a Master of Criminal Justice, a Master in Business Administration, and many more.

    At A Glance

    Tuition: $14,976
    Master’s Programs: 34
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Accredited: Yes
    Visit School Website
    16

    Faulkner University

    • Montgomery, Alabama
    • Graduation Rate: 57%

    Are you seeking to open new doors in your career, increase your income, or just desire advanced education and research opportunities? Whatever your reason, Faulkner University can provide a robust online master’s level education that answers the call to open doors, increase income, or fill the need to learn more with its many online programs. With 12 accredited programs in areas of education, justice administration, counseling, business administration, students will find their path to a brighter future. Faulkner’s mission as a Christian University is to help students glorify God through their education as a whole person.

    At A Glance

    Tuition: $9,450
    Master’s Programs: 12
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Accredited: Yes
    Visit School Website
    17

    Ball State University

    • Muncie, Indiana
    • Graduation Rate: 57%

    If you are seeking career advancement or personal fulfillment, Ball State University has an online master’s program to help you achieve your goals. With 22 online programs in areas such as Applied Behavior Analysis, Interior Design, Journalism, Business Administration, Nursing, Education, and more. Ball State also offers a few other programs that are primarily online but do have some residency components that would require students to be on campus for part of the degree to complete it. To see a complete list of programs and their requirements click here.

    At A Glance

    Tuition: $8,554
    Master’s Programs: 22
    Financial Aid:
    Accredited: Yes
    Visit School Website
    18

    Liberty University

    • Lynchburg, Virginia
    • Graduation Rate: 34%

    While considering online master’s programs it is important to note the courses and perspectives they will be taught from. With experts in the field as a faculty member of Liberty University and their unique Christian perspective will permeate the curriculum as Liberty University is a religious school. Liberty also offers many benefits for a service member and veterans that are seeking to enroll in any courses or programs. Areas of study include Aeronautics, Engineering, Government, Health Sciences, Business, Law, Leadership, and many more.

    At A Glance

    Tuition: $8,217
    Master’s Programs: 40
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Accredited: Yes
    Visit School Website
    19

    University of Florida

    • Gainesville, Florida
    • Graduation Rate: 87%

    The University of Florida offers the online students the same expert faculty the on-campus students receive without having to attend campus at all.

    Now offering more than 170 online degrees and certificate programs, the online distance program is designed for students who are looking for the same rigorous education but not required to attend campus but earning the same degree. The University of Florida has been highly ranked by U.S. News and World Report for its robust online programs. Specific programs include a MA in Mass Communication, an MS in Veterinary Medical Science, a Master in Urban and Regional Planning, and many more.

    At A Glance

    Tuition: $10,770
    Master’s Programs: 37
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Accredited: Yes
    Visit School Website
    20

    Florida State University

    • Tallahassee, Florida
    • Graduation Rate: 80%

    Whether you are looking to earn your master’s degree online for reasons of flexibility, convenience, or reputation Florida State University is an excellent choice. FSU has the same expert faculty teaching its online programs that teach on-campus, the programs are nationally ranked and recognized especially in the arts, humanities, and sciences. Some of the featured programs include Systems Engineering, Nursing, Public Administration, Counseling and Human Systems, and more. FSU also offers many online graduate certificates in addition to the online degree program courses.

    At A Glance

    Tuition: $9,684
    Master’s Programs: 19
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Accredited: Yes
    Visit School Website
    21

    Colorado State University

    • Fort Collins, Colorado
    • Graduation Rate: 67%

    If you are looking to take the next step in your career, a master’s degree from Colorado State University will help you get there. An online degree from CSU will help you develop the depth and breadth of knowledge necessary to help you obtain your goals while having the flexibility to manage personal obligations at the same time.

    Master’s Programs are offered in the following areas of arts and music, business, computer science, agricultural science, education, communication, and more. There are also hybrid programs available for select programs.

    At A Glance

    Tuition: $9,000
    Master’s Programs: 38
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Accredited: Yes
    Visit School Website
    22

    University of Nebraska-Lincoln

    • Lincoln, Nebraska
    • Graduation Rate: 67%

    The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is well-known as one of the top institutions for its online programs, form expert faculty to innovative teaching methods it has ranked among the best repeatedly. Distance learners receive many of the same benefits that traditional students have with tutoring, online support, and career counseling to name a few. The online programs are comparable to the rigor and prestige as the traditional on-campus counterpart. Online Master’s programs offered include an MS in Interior Design, an MS in Family and Consumer Sciences, a Master of Applied Science in Community Development, and many more.

    At A Glance

    Tuition: $7,520
    Master’s Programs: 30
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Accredited: Yes
    Visit School Website
    23

    Concordia University-St. Paul

    • Saint Paul, Minnesota
    • Graduation Rate: 68%

    An education from Concordia University – St. Paul sets graduates up for successful careers and meaningful lives. With 20 online maser’s programs, graduate students are sure to find a program that is in their field that will help them further their professional pursuits. Areas that master’s degrees are offered include business, education, information technology, and forensic science, and more.

    These programs are heavily career-focused and have seen great success due to the experiential model of learning that the curricula follow. Many of the programs have earned national recognition from U.S. News and World Report as well as being a Military Friendly school.

    At A Glance

    Tuition: $8,550
    Master’s Programs: 20
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Accredited: Yes
    Visit School Website
    24

    Bowling Green State University

    • Bowling Green, Ohio
    • Graduation Rate: 54%

    Bowling Green State University offers a very flexible schedule for its online master’s degree programs with various start dates throughout the year. The 100% online eCampus features both 7-week sessions and 15-week sessions that allow students to complete their degree sooner. Bowling Green State University offers master’s degrees in areas such as an MEd in learning, MS in Criminal Justice, and a Master of Food and Nutrition to name a few.

    At A Glance

    Tuition: $7,821
    Master’s Programs: 16
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Accredited: Yes
    Visit School Website
    25

    University of Illinois-Springfield

    • Springfield, Illinois
    • Graduation Rate: 66%

    Graduate education and degrees have become essential in today’s global economy. The University of Illinois-Springfield offers many online graduate degree and certification options to assist professionals in advancing their careers through furthering their education. Online degrees allow for professionals to meet other personal obligations while advancing their opportunities. Currently, there are 12 complete online masters programs including education, computer science, legal studies, political science, public health, social services, and more.

    At A Glance

    Tuition: $8,772
    Master’s Programs: 12
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Accredited: Yes
    Visit School Website

    These institutions for higher learning offer the most comprehensive online master’s programs in the country, offering a wide variety of disciplines. With an advanced degree, career opportunities multiply, and often salary increases with increased education. Find the program you are looking for among these top accredited schools and apply today for a brighter future tomorrow.

    Schools have been ranked using a matrix of cost, the number of Master’s Programs offered, and accreditation.

    Many people with an undergraduate degree find themselves in a dilemma with two options: either start job hunting with a bachelor’s degree or advance their careers by furthering their education with a master’s degree. Depending on the field you specialize in and many other factors, like the cost of graduate tuition, interests, and pressure from outside, most people choose one option and die on that hill, which should not be the case. 

    What if you could get the best of both worlds? What if you could continue building up your career and still further your studies and critical thinking with a master’s degree? It sounds amazing. Well, it is possible with an online master’s degree.

    Today, from the comfort of your home, you can order lunch, attend a meeting with your colleagues, and even take the time to learn a new skill. If some of the most popular award ceremonies can be done virtually and so can graduation ceremonies, then distance education doesn’t sound that odd, does it? So, if you want to enroll in a master’s program, why not consider online graduate school? Online grad school is a great way for adult learners to complete an advanced degree in everything from health science to business administration to educational leadership. Working professionals can find a way to take their bachelor’s degree to the next level, whether they work in criminal justice, computer science, higher education, or business administration.

    By pursuing your online master’s degree online, you get the chance to combine different things such as work and family without any inconveniences. Online master’s programs let you attend class at your convenience, meaning all you have to do is plan out your schedule early enough and you can easily work it around your work and family schedule.

    How Do You Know Your Online Master’s Degree Is A Quality Program?

    As much as online master’s degrees have their advantages, sometimes it is hard to distinguish the good from the bad. When applying for an online master’s degree, you must ensure you apply to accredited master’s programs; otherwise, it might end up being a complete waste. So, how do prospective students distinguish a quality education program from the rest? Here are a few tips.

    Accreditation

    Accreditation is the most critical thing when applying for a program. Accreditation of a school or program is more like a stamp of approval from the relevant regulatory bodies that a school or degree program has met the required academic standards. More often than not, employers will go for graduates from accredited programs because they are more prepared for the workforce. Some colleges put their credentials on the website, but students are advised to do their research as some credentials aren’t genuine. The Department of Education website has a college navigator tool that allows students to verify a particular school or program’s accreditation.

    Curriculum & Credits

    Students are advised to research whether credits they earn from a particular program transfer to another college if something happens and they must switch programs. If they can’t be transferred, one should ask themselves why this is so. Most of the time, the reason behind that is other colleges don’t consider the courses in that program to their academic standards, which should tell you a lot about that college and its programs.

    Statistics

    Always look at the numbers because numbers don’t lie. Some of the most important statistics to look out for include graduation rates, employment rates, and student loan default rates. Graduation rates will tell you how many students end up graduating from all who were part of the program. They will give you a rough indication of what changes you have at graduating. When the program has a low employment rate, then you should be concerned. It means that not many graduates end up getting job opportunities, so you have to ask yourself what chances I have to get a job once I graduate from this school.

    Support Services

    While pursuing an online degree, you need all the academic assistance you can get; therefore, it is critical to look up what academic assistance is offered to online students and how helpful it is. If you aren’t best pleased with the assistance on offer, then you should probably start looking elsewhere.

    What Are the Technology Requirements for An Online Master’s Degree?

    The success of an online program heavily relies on technology, and you need a few things to ensure you get the most out of your online education. Below are the technology requirements for an online IT management master’s degree, though a lot of these will apply to any degree that you are earning online, whether it’s an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, or master’s degree. You will also probably need the same if you’re pursuing an MBA, health science degree, or teacher certification.

    Desktop/Laptop/Tablet

    A desktop, laptop, or tablet is what gives you access to the class. You need a device with a large enough display that you can see everything the instructor shares. It should also have a good screen resolution so that all the details will be clear to you. We do not want a situation where you are having trouble reading the notes displayed by the instructor. You should also consider if the classes you’re taking are writing intensive. If so, choose a device that is convenient to type on.

    Fast & Reliable Internet Connection

    We cannot emphasize the significance of a reliable internet connection if enrolled in an online master’s degree program. Experts advise that you go for an internet speed of about 1-2 Mbps that can support live chats and content download necessary to get the most out of your online master’s program.

    Headset

    It would be best to have a top-quality headset with good speakers and a microphone because communication is an integral part of online classes. The better the speakers, the easier it would be to listen in on classes and understand.

    Benefits of Getting Your Master’s Degree Online

    An online master’s degree program has many advantages, and sometimes the advantages of applying for one outweigh both the disadvantages and the advantages of a traditional classroom setting. 

    Ability to Retain Current Employment

    Most people are afraid of taking on master’s degree courses because they do not want to leave their current jobs, which is why an online course is ideal. While doing an online master’s degree course, you do not have to worry about quitting your job or taking some time off to focus on the course. An online program gives you the liberty to attend classes at your convenience. You can choose to do it early in the morning before leaving for work or late in the evening after you’re done with the day.

    Personalized Learning

    An online master’s degree program will give you full control of your learning experience. You are the one who chooses when you would like to learn and how you would like to do it. You have all the resources available to you, and so you can easily review lessons at your own time.

    Reduced Cost of Learning

    Compared to the traditional classroom programs, you get to save a fortune when you apply for an online course. With tuition fees costing as high as $30,000, online programs are an excellent way to get quality education at fair online school tuition prices. Also, you get to cut on overhead costs such as accommodation fees, travel expenses, library access, and a host of other things. 

    A Variety of Schools to Choose From 

    When choosing a school, certain factors, such as costs and location, are considered. These factors can sometimes limit a student’s options, resulting in them choosing a school they necessarily wouldn’t have gone for in a perfect world. With an online course, this isn’t the case. You can select from a wide range of schools without being limited to a particular geographical location, which means you can choose a school and program you want.

    Enhanced Academic Performance

    Online classes give students a platform to freely interact with their classmates as well as course instructors. There are also online discussion forums that offer a unique chance to understand perspectives from different people. This type of discussion is not typically happening in the traditional classroom setting, with the majority of the students being introverts who shy away from speaking their minds. 

    Differences Between Earning A Master’s Degree Online and In A Traditional Classroom Setting

    When you choose to pursue your master’s degree online, you are set to have a completely different experience from someone who pursued theirs by attending physical classes and doing everything that entails the conventional learning method. There are some aspects where the variation from the traditional classroom setting will be an advantage. Others will be a drawback, and it is all about compromise and choosing the one that suits you and your current situation the most.

    How Is the Learning Experience Different for Online Master’s Degrees?

    The first difference between an online course and one in a traditional classroom setting is the learning experience. Face to face learning is more engaging in some ways, in the sense that you get to physically interact with other classmates and the lecturers, while online learning accessibility has no physical interactions whatsoever.

    They Are Predominantly Asynchronous

    Most of the time, online learning will be asynchronous, meaning that the students (and faculty) each determine when they will engage and participate in their online courses. This approach is completely different from the traditional classroom setting because classes are set for a particular time. Everyone is expected to attend that class at the time agreed upon by the powers that be. This type of schedule offers an advantage to students who have other things going on in their lives, for example, if one has a day job.

    Requires A Lot of Self Discipline

    To get the most out of an online class, they will need to have a lot of discipline and draw motivation from different places. In a classroom setting, everything tends to be controlled by the instructor, and rules have to be followed, making it easy for learners to maintain their concentration. This type of control is not present when it comes to online learning. Learners have to avoid most of the distractions and ensure that they keep up with classes and stay at par with the instructor and fellow students.

    Interactive Platforms & Discussion Forums

    Students have to interact with their counterparts through discussion forums and other engaging platforms to facilitate proper learning. This interaction has its pros and cons because, for starters, students can express themselves and share their perspectives freely when sitting behind a keyboard. Being able to share online is different than sharing in person. It may encourage shy students to be more interactive in classroom discussions than they would be willing to when sitting with their classmates face to face.

    Requires Digital Literacy & Netiquette

    The traditional classroom setting only requires you to show up, listen to lectures, and maybe write down a few notes. Online classes, on the other hand, are very different and involve various technicalities. It would help if you had some digital literacy. For example, you need to learn how to connect your device to the internet and solve various technical problems that are synonymous with 21st-century technology. It would be best if you also learned how to conduct yourself politely and respectfully during online interactions.

    Personalized Learning

    Online classes will enable you to customize your learning experience and critical thinking to suit your schedule and learning preferences. For instance, if you have to read and reread a particular concept to understand it, online education gives you that opportunity. You can take your time and reread as much as you have to until you are ready to move on with the material. On the other hand, face to face learning outlines a universal learning mode that every student has to conform to with very limited options as to how you can make the learning work for you.

    What Are the Differences Between A Virtual Classroom and A Traditional Classroom?

    A virtual classroom will be very different from the traditional classroom. For example, a virtual classroom will be wherever you want it to be; your kitchen table, your living room, a coffee shop, or about a hundred other options, while a traditional classroom is typically within the school vicinity.

    Can Be Anywhere You Want It to Be

    As earlier touched on, an online classroom will be anywhere you want it to be. There are no rules as to where you should do your learning, and it is all up to you to choose the location you’re most comfortable with. As long as you have a proper internet connection, you’re good to go. A traditional classroom, on the other hand, has to be at a particular set location. Most of the time, it is somewhere within the campus.

    Doesn’t Have A Fixed Schedule

    Unlike traditional classes that have a fixed schedule for class times where everyone has to attend class at that particular time, an online classroom is more flexible. You can choose to attend your class whenever you feel it is comfortable for you.

    Teaching Is Technology-Driven and Learner Centric

    In an online class, teaching is driven by technology, and the teacher is the facilitator. Teachers have better tools to engage learners, and students have more freedom to create, experiment, explore, and steer the class. Some of the modern teaching tools include multimedia, animation, 3D modeling, virtual, and so much more. Conversely, a traditional classroom will be teacher-driven and teacher-centric. They use traditional tools such as whiteboards, lecture notes, and laboratory experiments.

    Easy to Divide Different Learner Levels to Different Groups

    In a traditional classroom, every student sits in the same class, even though each has different learning capabilities and understanding levels. Everyone has to cope with the pace set by the instructor and follow the lecture during class. Then, if there’s anything that they missed, they have to figure it out on their own after class. Online classes make it easy for the lecturers to split the students into different groups and take a different learning approach for each group, depending on their needs. This approach improves the overall learning experience. Every student gets to learn at their own pace in the way that they learn best.

    More Diversity

    Online classrooms enable more diversity because students can connect from different corners of the globe remotely, making it easier for them to understand and interact with different cultures. It is also possible for the teaching instructors to invite special guest speakers from other parts of the world to teach certain topics they may have specialized in. Both these things are quite difficult to achieve when operating in a traditional classroom setting because location poses a huge challenge. If someone wants to participate in a class while in a different part of the world, they will have to fly from where they reside, which brings in additional costs.

    Evaluation

    When it comes to student evaluation, an online classroom provides automated evaluation conducted through online tests. The results tend to be quick, accurate, and transparent, which gives the course instructors data on what areas of learning they need to focus on. In traditional classrooms, evaluation involves both taking exams and handing in assignments. This process tends to be slow and requires a lot of labor.

    What Are the Differences Between Online Colleges and Traditional Colleges?

    Some colleges offer education to students via the traditional classroom setting, while others are purely online based and have a small physical headquarter. Recently, some of the top colleges have started offering both online teaching and face to face teaching to accommodate different students. This mixed approach also gives current students options that are more convenient. So, what are some of the key differences between an online college and the traditional one?

    Physical Setting

    The physical setting is the primary difference. An online college will typically have all the resources available to students on various digital platforms. To access these materials, students have to log in with their credentials. Then, they are directed to a class and reading materials depending on the course they are pursuing. For traditional college, everything is found in a physical location where the school is located. Classes are within campus, and so are lecturer offices and student resources.

    Class Scheduling

    Traditional colleges give students a rigid schedule with very little room for change, which means that every student has to attend class within the stipulated time. As a result, if one stakeholder is looking to make changes to class schedules, they have to consult everyone else and make sure that they have agreed to the changes. Online colleges, on the other hand, have very flexible class schedules. A student can choose to attend classes when it is convenient for them, so instead of scheduling other activities around the class schedule, as is the case for traditional colleges, students in online colleges schedule their classes around other activities.

    Resources & Amenities Offered

    Traditional colleges offer a wider range of resources and amenities to students than online colleges. For instance, students in a traditional learning institution have access to libraries, dorms, cafeterias, and gyms provided by the school. Online colleges don’t offer these resources because learning is done remotely. Instead, they have access to virtual libraries as well as technological tools that enable them to communicate with faculty members

    Affordability of An Online Master’s Degree

    Typically, online master’s degree courses tend to be cheaper than the traditional learning method, but sometimes students won’t get value for their money and are better off paying a higher price for quality face to face learning.

    When Is an Online Master’s Degree Worth It?

    When you compare the pros of an online master’s degree program to its drawbacks and to the advantages of pursuing your master’s degree via the traditional learning methods, doing it online is worth it.

    However, some students will go through with an online master’s degree program only to graduate and find out that their degree isn’t relevant and doesn’t give them an edge in the job market. At this point, the degree wasn’t worth it, and one may have potentially wasted their money, time, and energy in pursuing a master’s degree that doesn’t help them in any shape or form.

    An online master’s degree is worth it when you know that the program is accredited, and it gives you an edge in the job market. It would also help if your master’s degree gave you the chance to boost your earnings and qualify you for higher levels in your particular field.

    What Is the Most Cost-Effective Online Master’s Degree?

    The cheapest master’s degree program isn’t necessarily the most cost-effective because the program may not boost your earnings or solidify your position in the labor market. So, when you look at the grand scheme of things, you might have a master’s degree that doesn’t help you at all, meaning that even though you paid a low price, it technically still cost you a lot. Do your research to determine the best master’s degree program for the particular career you hope to pursue, and then look at the schools offering that course. Here, you will find a list of the top 10 most affordable online graduate schools for a master’s degree.

    What Are the Financial Aid Opportunities for An Online Master’s Degree?

    For anyone looking to pursue a master’s degree but doesn’t have the financial power to pay for it, there are a few financial aid options that can help one to apply for the program and advance their careers for the better.

    Student Loans

    Student loans are the most popular form of financial aid whereby the student takes out a loan and then pays it back gradually once they have graduated and are earning a living. The difference between student loans and the other kind of loan is that student loans only start to accrue interest once the student has graduated.

    Grants & Scholarships

    These are a form of financial aid that is more like a gift meaning that the student doesn’t have to pay it back as is the case for a loan. They are similar in some merits, with the only notable difference being that grants are mostly offered based on the student’s financial need while scholarships are given based on academic merit and particular traits that the student possesses.

    Other forms of financial aids include fellowships, assistantships, state, and institutional-based aid, and work-study.

    Best Online Master’s Degree Programs

    While there may be many different master’s degree programs in different fields of specialization, every field has those programs that are highly regarded by employers. Graduates that possess these degrees have the edge over other candidates and are more likely to secure employment easily. If you are wondering which is the best program to pursue, here are some of the best programs to take on in each of the top fields (business studies, management studies, technology studies, social sciences, economics, and engineering, among others).

    When choosing the school to pursue an online program, you don’t have to worry about geographical limitations. So, you can therefore choose the school which you feel offers the best program. Don’t know which school to go to? Here are the top 10 schools with the best online master’s degree programs.

    In Conclusion 

    Every employer wants to get the best person for the job, regardless of what position they are trying to fill. Applicants who have completed a masters degree will always have the edge over the rest, but they have to first ensure that the online master’s degree is genuine. The major criteria used is accreditation, and graduates from accredited institutions have the best chance, whether you’re pursuing an MBA in business administration, an advanced education degree, computer science, criminal justice, and more.

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